Westmeath ladies are seeking a swift return to the highest echelon of championship football when they contest the All Ireland intermediate final against neighbours Meath in Croke Park on Sunday (throw in, 1.15pm ).
Following a two point victory over Roscommon in the semi-final, Westmeath will be hoping to achieve their silverware aspirations in a Croke Park setting which will be devoid of Lake County supporters due to the present Covid-19 public health guidelines.
Despite the absence of such support, Westmeath are fully focussed on the ultimate 60 minutes of their intermediate championship campaign and come the shrill of the final whistle on Sunday are hoping that their on pitch toil is rewarded.
Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser this week, Rosemount native and team coach, Damien Kelly, noted the anticipation among the group as the final fixture fast approaches.
“Since our semi-final victory we have been training very hard and now we are one game from achieving our ultimate aim. Meath had an emphatic victory over Clare in their final four contest and we will have to perform at our maximum to achieve success on Sunday,” Damien remarked.
Playing on the vast green swathe of Croke Park will be a first for many of the Westmeath playing cohort and with that in mind, the management trained in Abbotstown this past week, the pitch dimensions being of a similar status to GAA HQ.
“We brought the playing squad to Abbotstown on Saturday to thoroughly assist them with their final preparations. We hope that this will be to our advantage on the day but we are very much aware of the challenge Meath present and we will have to devise a game plan to counteract their impact,” Damien commented.
Westmeath have contested the top division in ladies league football this year and Damien is hopeful that playing at such a competitive level will be of benefit as the final progresses on Sunday.
“We travelled to play senior finalists, Cork, in Pairc Ui Chaoimh and hopefully such experience will stand to the team when it matters most on Sunday. As shown in our narrow semi-final win, there is great resilience and character in this team and hopefully they are rewarded for their championship season efforts when that final whistle blows,” Damien concluded.